Always Watching

It’s Been A Great Couple Weeks

In Burn Notice, Hawthorne, HBO, Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains, The Closer, TNT, True Blood, USA, Wedding Day on 06/15/2009 at 2:21 am


The last two weeks or so have been pretty fantastic for TV junkies. My teen years throughout the 90’s were heavily laden with rerun-filled bore fests. Stuck in summer school all day and TV programming I’d already seen at night – it was pretty hellish. Thanks to cable programming, summers are actually pretty amazing these days.

The season was kicked off by USA with the Burn Notice come back and birth of Royal Pains. Burn Notice started the season off with a lot of bangs, as usual. Now that Michael has shook off those that burned him, he’s facing increasing pressure from the cops.

The addition of a tough female cop following him around should make for some great story lines. Busting into his storage space with a water saw was genius, though I wonder if something like that would have been so quiet. I also like Fiona’s new-found aggression towards she and Michael’s relationship.

Royal Pains burst from the gates with a hilarious pilot. I found a few laugh out loud moments and came to understand and, more importantly, enjoy, the characters. Episode 2 seemed to slow down a bit but still managed to keep most of it’s charm. I’m intrigued by the relationships between the doc and his young friend as well as the doc and his brother.

I thought it was a bit odd that the brother made for a stronger character since he’s only a supporting character. Usually USA keeps the quirkier ones up front. I’m kinda glad they shifted gears a bit. Some say the brotherly relationship seems a bit contrived but I disagree. The writers seem to know just what the right amount of quirk, jealousy and brotherly love seems to be.

Though they’re more late Spring/early Summer series, In Plain Sight and Law & Order: Criminal Intent have been heating up the screens, too.

Many shows sometimes get bogged down in their sophomore years with excessive and pointless guest stars (I love you like my own child, but I’m thinking of you here 30 Rock) but IPL has managed to welcome the stars without that baggage. This week’s episode feature Laura Prepon as Mary’s sister (though Mary doesn’t know, shhh…). Her appearance really made me miss ABC’s October Road and the sight of Prepon and Mary McCormack together on screen was one of the highlights of the season thus far.

I thought seeing McCormack paired up with former West Wing alum Joshua Malina would be the highlight of the season and then they had to one up that with Richard Schiff’s guest role. At first I chalked this up to the fact that the three had previously all worked together on WW but seeing McCormack with Prepon this evening really clued me in: she’s just an amazing actress that really seems to shine when’s there’s a guest star around. But wait…she’s actually pretty rad when there’s no guest around, too. So final analysis: Mary McCormack kinda rules.

As for L&O:CI, I’m really enjoying the addition of Jeff Goldblum. I thought he made a fantastic cop on NBC’s short lived series Raines, which I enjoyed, and am glad to see him doing his thing for Mr. Wolf. I do miss Chris Noth, but am looking forward to seeing him on CBS’ The Good Wife this fall. Mike Logan was a great character but I’m sure Noth was probably getting a little tired of him after nearly 20 years, even if there were some pretty big vacations from him (holla at ya Mr. Big!)

Last Monday saw the return of The Closer with another great episode. I really resisted this show for the first two seasons but have become extremely compelled since then. I thought perhaps the story line of the killer going to the wrong address was slightly contrived…Was it a Law & Order storyline a few years ago?

Getting the confession in the prison visiting room was enough of a twist to make up for that shortfall, though. As always, the amazing cast also managed to make up for that little writing problem, as well.

I had watched the Nurse Jackie pilot a week or so ahead of time, so I almost forgot it premiered last week. I was hypnotized by the brilliance of Edie Falco. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get past seeing her as Carmela Soprano, but that fear melted away quickly.

I’m rather conflicted on Jackie. She is precariously balanced on the line between good and bad and I’m still not sure how I feel about her. At times I wanna cheer her on, others I cringe. I enjoy her jaded outlook and her humor is A+. The dinner scene with her friend, coolly discussing which should save the choking diner at the next table was horrifying and laugh inducing at the same time.

This evenings premiere of True Blood season 2 was…Amazing. There’s really not much more I could say. True Blood is a fascination of mine, landing squarely in my top ten shows currently airing.

I watched all of season one to prepare for this evenings return and was really keeping my fingers crossed that it wasn’t Lafayette in the back of the detective’s car. Glad my hopes weren’t dashed. I was shocked at first to learn it was Eric keeping him captive, but soon realized that it’s Eric. We really shouldn’t have been surprised at all, should we? Will Lafayette rat out Jason for the vampire’s kidnapping and subsequent death last season?

And speaking of Jason: Somehow my first go-round I missed how amazing Ryan Kwanten was. Also re-watching season one I caught many little things I had missed previously, like Sam barking in his sleep.

My only complaint with the season premiere was the on again/off again nature of Sookie and Bill’s relationship rearing it’s head again. That’s is getting slightly old. Some TV bloggers out there have also commented on Jason joining a vampire hating church, which they assume will lead to his character becoming an antagonist for Sookie, to be a bit simplistic. I say we let Alan Ball do his thing and see where it all leads. The fact that Jason lied to Sookie about what kind of church camp he was attending lends some hope.

The Listener also appeared this week, though I had watched it a few months ago after it aired in Canada, so I don’t have much to say other than it makes for some good time filler. My DVR is a bit backed up due to watching season 3 of Ghost Whisperer, so I still haven’t caught up on the returns of Army Wives or Weeds – I’m saving them for Tuesday.

Coming up this week, look forward to the Tuesday premiere of Hawthorne (which is showing up on my DVR as HawthoRNe…kinda lame)…Here’s hoping it doesn’t go the way of TNT’s last med drama – Heartland. I’m also planning to check out TNT’s first reality show, Wedding Day. I’m no fan of reality TV but I’m hearing from other reality haters that it’s not that bad, so here’s hoping.

There’s also the premiere of Merlin on NBC next Sunday. The show is a brit-original and season 2 of the series will be premiering in the UK the same day season 1 hits the states…That gives some hope that it’ll be pretty good.

Finally, Saving Grace returns Tuesday and that’s pretty damn exciting. This show seems to get better and better as the seasons go by.

I actually feel these last couple of weeks have been nearly as exciting as Fall premiere time. In a year or two Summer just may be the new Fall.

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